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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Can't we all just get along?
Guy Delisle travels to Jerusalem with his partner and their two kids for a year. His partner is an administrator for "Doctors Without Borders" and Delisle spends the year working on his comics, looking after the kids, and exploring/trying to understand the city of Jerusalem and its peoples.

If you've read Delisle's work before you'll know he goes to...
Published on 13 May 2012 by Sam Quixote

versus
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enlightening, but
While this book says little that is really new about the Israeli-Palestinian imbroglio, the facts, impressions and insights are engagingly presented by an experienced and intrepid traveller. I learnt a good deal about some of the details of life for both Israelis and Palestinians. But he did not get under the skin of those Israelis who feel embattled and threatened, who...
Published 19 months ago by C. W. Robbins


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Can't we all just get along?, 13 May 2012
By 
Sam Quixote - See all my reviews
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Guy Delisle travels to Jerusalem with his partner and their two kids for a year. His partner is an administrator for "Doctors Without Borders" and Delisle spends the year working on his comics, looking after the kids, and exploring/trying to understand the city of Jerusalem and its peoples.

If you've read Delisle's work before you'll know he goes to hard-to-reach places and reports on his time there (North Korea, China, Burma) and that the resulting travelogues are always entertaining and enlightening - just like this latest book.

The book isn't a polemic nor is it meant to explain the region or the history, it's really just a memoir/travelogue of his time there. So there is equal parts of his time describing his everyday duties looking after the kids and going to parties, making friends, as much as there is encountering and observing violence from bombings in Gaza, to the numerous checkpoints and outright chaos of this area.

The reader gets to see how bizarre Jerusalem is. The city is divided into Christian quarters, Jewish quarters, and Muslim quarters, where literally one side of the street a woman can wear what she likes and on the other she must be covered head to foot. The constant military presence and day to day reminders of violence - everyone carries a gun, not just soldiers. The shrillness of the piercing calls to prayer echo throughout the city whether you are religious or not. The ridiculously high number of checkpoints everywhere, the constant traffic jams...

As an atheist myself, it's hard to believe that this troubled region is because of one group believing one thing over another leading to literally millennia of conflict. As such, it's incredibly shocking how people will be so petty over everything. One contested house becomes demolished, another goes up - years pass, the house is demolished/taken over, another goes up. And on and on. And the bizarre behaviour of Orthodox Jews who are just flat out racist and violent toward anybody who isn't an Orthodox Jew themselves, is just terrifying.

Delisle doesn't take sides on whether he believes one side is right over another, he's an atheist himself and does his best to present all sides of the argument. Through his fresh eyes the reader sees the area as if they were visiting it themselves. It's a fascinating look at a troubled region, told memorably and filled with excellent artwork throughout all by Delisle, who has once again written/drawn a wonderful book on a strange part of our world with characteristic good humour and intelligence.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delisle pulls it off again, 20 May 2012
By 
F Henwood "The bookworm that turned" (London) - See all my reviews
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We know that part of Delisle's appeal is his choice of settings: the reclusive dictatorships of Burma and North Korea make great copy. Delisle is able to offer a first-hand perspective on countries from which it is all but impossible to derive any impression about what daily life must be actually like, and he is able to do this with a deceptively simple drawing style.

But Israel/Palestine is different kettle of fish. This is a conflict continually under the media glare. Millions of pages have been written documenting every detail of the conflict in the `holy land'. Can Delisle offer anything new?

The answer is that yes, he can. Delisle's strengths lie in more than the fact that he can capitalise on the fact that he has lived and worked in little-known places. His detached, ironical but sympathetic style is well suited to navigating the tortured nuances of the seemingly never-ending conflict in the so-called holy land.

The narrative switches between wider events and his experience of humdrum domestica and writer's block but the latter is not overdone. It stays humorous without becoming self-indulgent or flippant. He also includes narratives and testimonies of eyewitnesses to events he does not see first-hand but are concurrent with his stay (such Israel's assault on Gaza, Operation Cast Lead in December 2008 and January 2009). He does not pretend to offer any new insights into the conflict. What he is able to offer is a cross-section of reality, as he has in his previous books. He gives an impression of what it is like to experience this reality first hand.His is the eye that picks out the unexpected: like the Arab-Israeli citizen living in one of the West Bank's illegal settlements, quipping that the settlements are being resettled from within by Arab-Israelis. His sympathies are clearly with the Palestinians but he is not an activist but an observer, of his own reactions as well the reactions of others, to the circumstances in which they find themselves. He is balanced and fair minded. He notes for example that the press in Israel is forthright and vociferous, and frequently critical of its own government, presenting an utter contrast to its neighbours (this observation is still valid despite the recent Egyptian revolution). He draws what he sees and hears, and lets you make up your own mind.

There are minor missteps (perhaps due to the translation) like calling Passover a `Jewish Easter' but this book will serve up everything that Delisle's admirers have come to expect from his previous works, and perhaps much more. I think that this is finest book yet.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 15 Sept. 2012
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This review is from: Jerusalem: Chronicles from the Holy City (Hardcover)
A great book, which through the atmospheric illustrations and well-constructed stories gives an entertaining and thought-provoking account of life in Jerusalem and the West Bank (as well as the wider background of Israel/Palestine conflict).

I have visited most of the towns mentioned in the book and found Guy Deslisle's drawings incredibly effective at capturing both the look and atmosphere of those locations. They brought back strong memories and stirred my emotions, reigniting the sense of disbelief and outrage that I felt when there, particularly in Hebron and regarding the checkpoints and the wall.

Some may find that the author leans too far politically in one direction, but in my view his mindset is a natural consequence of spending time in the area. I doubt there are too many westerners in east Jerusalem or the West Bank who disagree with him.

An interesting and well-crafted book about a fascinating part of the world.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enlightening, but, 16 Jun. 2013
By 
C. W. Robbins (Spain) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Jerusalem: Chronicles from the Holy City (Hardcover)
While this book says little that is really new about the Israeli-Palestinian imbroglio, the facts, impressions and insights are engagingly presented by an experienced and intrepid traveller. I learnt a good deal about some of the details of life for both Israelis and Palestinians. But he did not get under the skin of those Israelis who feel embattled and threatened, who find deep within themselves a sense of the insecurity of the Jewish people since AD 70. Perhaps he didn't meet any he could talk to.

If Delisle is a faux naïf, no matter. The technique works reasonably well.

But the book has two drawbacks:
1.although he CAN draw well for other contexts, Delisle adopts a shorthand draughtsmanship which didn't appeal at all to me. His treatment of faces - and particularly eyes and mouths - makes people look either expressionless or positively ugly. I was sorry to see his partner depicted in this way. Delisle uses dialogue to express character but couldn't he also draw people with that aim in mind? He misses golden opportunities: why no large scale drawing of the model presented to Sultan Selim I?
2. The translator has rendered Delisle's French is a curious N American demotic which - to my ears at least - made Delisle seem more flippant than he was. At any rate, the result is not verbally stylish.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific again from Guy, 30 April 2012
By 
J. G. Gent "JulianG" (London) - See all my reviews
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What a terrific few hours spent reading and absorbing Guy's latest travelogue.

Simply put, buy it and enjoy it...the nuances and sidebar comments are worth the effort on their own.

Excellent.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Simply a lovely book, 11 Jan. 2014
This review is from: Jerusalem: Chronicles from the Holy City (Hardcover)
With brilliant sketches and a dry sense of humour, Guy takes you along with him on his interesting journey in a troubled land. Read this and you will be wanting to read his others.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Less funny than previous work, but still pretty good!, 18 Feb. 2013
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This review is from: Jerusalem: Chronicles from the Holy City (Hardcover)
Less funny than previous works (I've read Bhurma, Shenzen and Pyongyang - maybe more "exotic" and surprising), but still pretty good!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Pilgrimage of a present, 11 Dec. 2012
By 
Ms. Elspeth Griffin "Eppy" (Leeds, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Jerusalem: Chronicles from the Holy City (Hardcover)
What do you buy the guy who has everything? Apparently this.
Bought for my Dad as a birthday present this went down very well, he had his head stuck in it for hours.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Guy Delisle's best one so far, 9 Nov. 2012
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This review is from: Jerusalem: Chronicles from the Holy City (Hardcover)
This is by far the best book of Guy Delisle has made so far, i just loved it. The drawings are really well done and the book is as usual very thought provoking and funny.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Just as good as the rest, 7 Sept. 2012
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This review is from: Jerusalem: Chronicles from the Holy City (Hardcover)
I love Delisles work and this next book does not disappoint. His books are a great intro for graphic novels if you are wanting to encourage a friend.
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Jerusalem: Chronicles from the Holy City
Jerusalem: Chronicles from the Holy City by Guy Delisle (Hardcover - 31 May 2012)
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